The pharma pessimist

IN SUMMARY: Peccisism; a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future. When it comes to pharma that pretty much describes me. In my 20+ years in healthcare marketing, I have seen a transformation from an industry focused on patients to an industry focused on profits.

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Patients should no even think of using Facebook for health

  • Facebook’s leaders seriously discussed selling access to user data — and privacy was an afterthought.
  • Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data.
  • Facebook ultimately decided not to sell the data directly but rather to dole it out to app developers who were considered personal “friends” of Zuckerberg or who spent money on Facebook and shared their own valuable data.
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Only about half of Americans are aware of the link between excess weight and cancer

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Implementing FDA added sugar labeling policy could generate substantial health gains and cost savings for the US population.

Between 2018 and 2037, a sugar label would prevent 354,400 cardiovascular disease and 599,300 diabetes mellitus cases, gain 727,000 quality-adjusted life-years, and save $31 billion in net healthcare costs or $61.9 billion in societal costs (incorporating reduced lost productivity and informal care costs). Source

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It’s hard, I mean really hard, to defend big pharma

  • Big Pharma is evading culpability for the crisis of rising prescription drug prices by point the finger at others, namely pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
  • Many drugs receive no rebates at all, including 89 percent of Medicare Part D prescriptions. For new drugs, where the price tag can run into the hundreds of thousands a year, rebates are rarely offered because there is no direct competition in the space.
  • Putting profits before people is what big Pharma does. Brand name drug makers have hiked the prices of their products at 10 times the rate of inflation over the last five years. 
  • Drugmakers historically have blamed higher prices on the costs of research and development but didn’t use and of the $7 billion tax benefit to increase R&D.
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